The Environmental Protection Agency recently released the final version of its much anticipated “Water of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The rule seeks to define the waterways under EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The unofficial, pre-publication version of the rule is 297 pages.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a proposed rule to restructure many provisions regarding Medicaid managed care services. The unofficial, pre-publication version of the proposal is 653 pages. It is both an economically significant and major rule, with annualized costs exceeding $112 million.
Total costs were modest this week, with $66 million in burdens, compared to $42 million in annualized costs and $334 million in benefits. Thanks to a Department of Education (ED) proposal, paperwork accelerated by more than 3.6 million hours. One Dodd-Frank proposal contained minor burdens.
The pace that regulators set last week slowed, with $121 million in total burdens. Annual costs were $58.6 million, compared to $18.4 million in benefits; paperwork accelerated by more than 127,000 hours. A Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal implementing Dodd-Frank led the week.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently released the final version of its revised safety standards for train cars carrying fossil fuels. The rule seeks “to address the unique risks associated with the growing reliance on trains” for the transportation of these products.
Since 2011, when Republicans won a majority in the U.S. House, regulatory reform has been a key plank of the legislative agenda. From every conceivable angle, legislators have devised solutions to regulatory accumulation, abusive lawsuits, and the regulatory process. The broad goals have been to increase transparency for the public and to reassert Congress’s constitutional role as a lawmaking body.
The administration’s recent attempt to eliminate red tape actually resulted in nearly $3 billion in additional regulatory burdens for Americans. Under President Obama’s executive orders (13,563 and 13,610), agencies were told to “modify, streamline expand, or repeal” existing regulations. Too often for the administration, regulations are regularly expanded and rarely repealed or modified.
Regulators added $2.6 billion in costs this week, led by a final rule to enhance rail car standards. Annualized burdens were $239 million, which equaled annual benefits. Paperwork hours increased by more than 685,000.
The regulatory pace slowed this week, with just $191 million in rulemaking burdens. Annual costs were $90 million, compared to $200,000 in benefits; paperwork increased by 1.2 million hours. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation on antiseptics led the week.
Old, young, rich, or poor, the nation’s broken immigration system affects all walks of life. Even if you’re a millionaire, the top one percent, and your employer is a billionaire, you can still run into hurdles with the immigration system. Just ask the following professional athletes who couldn’t start the season or spring training because of “visa issues.”